This is a reminder of life’s worth. Of my life. Of your life. For everyone. “Am I better off dead? Am I better off a quitter?” The lyrics of a song that stuck with me following my accident. I would ask myself that question and at the time I thought the answer was yes. I was yet to realize that the greatest gift that we are given is life.
What if I had chosen to give up? What would that do for this world and for the people around me? Nothing… or I should say at least nothing positive. There’s no reason for any of us to give up. Envision the future with optimism and treat the present as a gift.
There are countless people out there praying for just one more day of life fighting a terminal illness. So it would be selfish for someone to give up on life when they have so many days ahead of them. For someone that is terminally ill there is no amount of money they wouldn’t pay to get another day, a week, or even a year.
Make your mark. Start living today. Stop complaining. Stop comparing yourself to the guy next to you. You do not know their struggles and they do not know yours. No one has all the problems in the world and chances are that something you are going through has already been overcome by somebody else. So use relentless optimism and understand that we are all capable of a brighter future.
“I wish that I knew what I know now back when I was younger.” Those are lyrics from one of my favorite songs. If I knew I would be in the position that I am now growing up, then I would have lived those days much differently. If three years ago I knew that this tragedy would completely transform my life for the better then I never would’ve asked if I would’ve been better off dead.
The thing about these lessons is that we cannot go back and relive the past, but more importantly we can share these your lessons with the younger generations and those people going through a similar life experience. A lesson learned is very important to share. I have visited some patients with spinal cord injuries and shared with them the lessons that I learned trying to prevent them from experiencing the year worth of misery that I had.
I am a speaker, writer, and advocate for people with disabilities and mental health issues and I am proud of that. The worst thing you can do is be afraid to share your mistakes and the lessons you’ve learned because by not reaching out to just one person you may have set them up for the failure and misery that you suffered through. We all have things in our lives that we wish that no one else would have to suffer through and by reaching your hands out to someone that wish might just come true.
I am living a truly rewarding and fulfilling life all because I have made myself vulnerable. It is amazing how many people I have talked to that have reached back to me to share a similar experience they say they have shared with only a handful of people in their entire life. In that way vulnerability has led to trust because these people know I will not judge them because you have been through it myself.
At the end of your life it does not matter how much money is in your bank account because you are not able to pay your way into heaven. No life is worth more than the other because of money. What matters is the impact that you’ve made on this world and the number of people that you reached out to and helped to live a more fulfilling life.
I wish three years ago I could see that genuine smile on my face now. I wish I could see that life could get better and even better than it ever was before. I wish I could see my optimism and determination. That wish will never come true, but there are people out there that need to see that life after tragedy can be magnificent.
I embrace the present and live in the now because I know there is the inevitable ticking clock when my time will come. So I will stay calm, but continue to live this fast-paced lifestyle in hopes that when my time comes I’ll be satisfied when the clock stops ticking.